Dec 15

Illinois Lottery Winners Could Receive Payouts Soon

Months after a budget stalemate saw Illinois Lottery winners issued with IOUs for prizes worth more than $600, Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s legislature finally reached an agreement to release $1 billion in funds to those who have won $600 or more on the state’s lottery games. After being approved by the Illinois House of Representatives, the state Senate will now vote on the proposal this coming Monday.

The Chicago Tribune reported earlier this week that more than $2.1 million in additional revenue will also be distributed to municipalities across the state to cover the costs of 911 centers, firefighting departments and road maintenance over the winter.

After the state began operating without a budget, the Illinois Lottery stopped paying out prizes worth more than $25,000. In October, the threshold was lowered to $600 as the state’s budget woes continued. The payment of large Illinois Lottery prizes must be authorized by the State Comptroller, which, due to the lack of a state budget, could only issue IOUs to such winners.

A number of players have now launched a class-action lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery in an attempt to receive the money owed to them. In a recent hearing, a judge ordered both parties to settlement talks. The lawsuit is still set to go forward even if the funds are released, as attorney Tom Zimmerman maintains that the interest the money accrued while it was held by the Lottery should also be given to the plaintiffs.

by Mike Redfern
Updated December 4th, 2015

Oct 15

Michigan Powerball Winner Quit Job “On the Spot”

A Michigan woman is now in the money after winning a massive rollover Powerball jackpot in the drawing on Wednesday, September 30th. Julie Leach, a 50-year-old mother of three and grandmother of 11, worked a “nasty, dirty job” at a fiberglass factory, but after she matched the winning numbers of 21, 39, 40, 55 and 59 with Powerball 17 to win an astonishing $310.5 million, she is now a lady of leisure.

In a press release, Leach was quoted as saying “My boyfriend told me I should stop and buy some Powerball tickets on the way to work because the jackpot was so huge. I stopped at the Shell station and bought 10 Powerball plays for $20.” Just a few hours later, she matched the entire winning line to win an unimaginable prize.

When her 1:00AM lunch break rolled around, Leach went to McDonald’s to pick up a bite to eat. While she waited in the drive through, she remembered that she had bought Powerball tickets before heading to work. Initially she didn’t believe she had hit the jackpot and asked some of her coworkers to double-check the tickets. When they told her “Get the hell out of here, you’re a millionaire!” she clocked out on the spot and went home.

After telling her long-term partner, Vaughn Avery, the good news, he told Leach he had to get ready for work at 4:00AM, and she promptly told him “he was never working again”. The couple plan to build houses for themselves and their children after paying off some bills.

Leach took the lump sum option, netting a pre-tax payout of $197.4 million and a grand total of $140 million. A financial advisor has been hired as she and her partner embrace a relaxed, unhurried lifestyle thanks to America’s biggest lottery game.

If you’d like to pull a Julie and tell your boss where to go after winning a huge Powerball jackpot, make sure you buy tickets for Saturday’s drawing. The top prize is worth an estimated $60 million (cash value $38.4 million) and tickets are a cool $2 each. Good luck!

by Mike Redfern
Updated October 9th, 2015

Jul 15

Virginia Trucker Scoops $152 Million Mega Millions Jackpot

A truck driver from Virginia can now retire early thanks to a smart purchase made on the road in Pennsylvania. Steven Peloquin picked up a Mega Millions ticket while in the Keystone State for work and hit the jackpot for the drawing on Tuesday 21st July, netting himself an amazing $152 million and a cash sum of $91.7 million before taxes.

Peloquin, who hails from Mechanicsville, Virginia, matched the winning line of 20, 30, 62, 65 and 74 with Mega Ball 1 after buying a ticket at the Flying J Travel Plaza near Milton, Pennsylvania. The Virginia trucker put the ticket away and didn’t check it until last weekend, when he discovered that he had grabbed a mind-numbing amount of cash.

“I was getting ready to turn in last Saturday night when I went online to check my numbers,” Peloquin said in a statement to Pennsylvania Lottery officials. “Needless to say, I didn’t get to sleep that night.” After sending a photo of the ticket to relatives so that they could double-check the results for him, Peloquin then returned to Pennsylvania to claim his life-changing prize, which was is the fourth biggest win in the history of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Peloquin now plans to retire after 30 years in the trucking industry so that he can focus on spending more time with his family. The retailer at the travel plaza who sold him the winning ticket will pick up a bonus of $100,000.

by Mike Redfern
Updated July 31st, 2015

Jul 15

Powerball Changes to Take Effect in October 2015

Changes are coming to Powerball in October of this year, with the odds of winning the jackpot growing longer and the odds of winning lower-tier prizes getting shorter. The ball pool for the main numbers is increasing from 59 to 69, while the ball pool for the Powerball is decreasing from 35 to 26.

While you currently have a 1 in 175,223,510 shot at winning the top Powerball prize, in October your chances will be set at 1 in 292,201,338. However, your odds of matching at least the Powerball will drop from 1 in 55 to 1 in 38. Your overall odds of winning a prize will also improve, going from 1 in 31 to 1 in 24.

The base prize for matching four main numbers and the Powerball will increase from $10,000 to $50,000, with lower prizes retaining the same value, with amounts ranging from $4 for matching just the Powerball (or one number and the Powerball) to $100 for matching four main numbers or three main numbers and the Powerball.

The Power Play option is also changing. When the jackpot is worth $150 million or less, a 10x Power Play multiplier will be possible, exponentially increasing the value of tickets matching four numbers and the Powerball or fewer. When the top prize exceeds $150 million, the regular Power Play multipliers of 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x will be used.

While the jackpot might be harder to win, it does mean that the top prize could reach even higher amounts. Walt Hickey, a contributor for the FiveThirtyEight website, has run some simulations based on the new matrix and rules to assess the likelihood of a billion-dollar Powerball jackpot. He discovered that as the value of the jackpot increases, so do ticket sales, making it more likely that someone – or several people – will snap up the top prize.

Out of the 100,000 simulations he performed, there was a 63.4 percent chance of a billion-dollar jackpot being offered. As the jackpot will be harder to win – and fewer tickets tend to be submitted at lower levels – the prize may roll over for longer in the new proposed scenario, triggering the possibility of huge jackpots. “You may not win as often”, writes Hickey, “but whoever does has a decent shot at winning more money than ever.”

The proposed changes won’t come into effect until October 4th, 2015, so there’s still plenty of time to play Powerball under the current rules. The jackpot has risen to $50 million (estimated cash value $30.5 million) for Saturday’s drawing after no ticket holder won the jackpot on Wednesday evening. Grab your tickets now for the chance to win big!

by Mike Redfern
Updated July 9th, 2015

Jun 15

Want to Win Lottery Millions? Get Married

Everyone has their own special theory as to how to win millions on lottery draw games and scratchers, from choosing numbers based around family birthday, to trusting in a lucky item of clothing when buying their tickets. However, could the answer simply be to get married? This week has witnessed one set of newlyweds and a couple due to tie the knot this fall both win big by playing instant win games.

David and Stacy Foster of Orleans, Massachusetts were married May 1 and received a late wedding gift beyond their wildest dreams when their $30 Supreme Millions ticket scored them a $15 million windfall. In an amazing stroke of luck, Stacy had indicated the ticket she wanted to buy to the clerk at the store on Route 6 in Eastham, but was told that she had to have one from the open register. That proved to be a winner, boosting the Fosters’ joint account by $9.75 million after tax withholdings.

The couple say that they will pay off their student loans, invest in a house and buy a truck with the lottery win.

In Illinois, Chase Knapp of Downers Grove, west of Chicago, will not have to worry about how to pay for wedding favors and champagne for his upcoming nuptials after claiming $2 million on a 50x The Cash instant game while running errands for his fiancee. Chase visited three stores, buying instant games in each and eventually picking the $10 winning ticket up from the Villa Park Mobil. He says that he will invest the prize, although some will go towards paying for the big day in October.

As well as offering scratch-offs, the Illinois and Massachusetts lotteries both offer a range of fun draw games that you can play whether you’re married or not, and you can find the latest winning numbers at Lottery.net!

by Mike Redfern
Updated March 29th, 2016